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China rejects North Korean coal shipments, buying American instead

China rejects North Korean coal shipments, buying American instead

What do you do with a problem like Korea?

Last weekend President Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping met at Mar-a-Lago.

The state dinner featured a side of tactical bombing of Syrian airstrips and a bit of Sound of Music diplomacy from the First Daughter. Knowing the room would be tense, she deployed her charming children to serenade the Chinese President and his wife…in Chinese.

Ivanka assumed, or rightly knew, that there is nothing like having the children or grandchildren of a host put on a cute performance to cut down tensions in a room full of VIPs with competing agendas.

And there certainly were competing agendas Friday night between Presidents Trump and Xi, with the two coming together for their first in-person meeting to discuss trade disputes, the increased nuclear threat of North Korea and other issues.

The issue of North Korea and that nation’s threat to launch nuclear weapons was certainly a topic of discussion. To paraphrase a famous song from the musical, “What do you do with a problem like Korea”, and its psychotic leader Kim Jong-un?

President Trump tweeted:

Indeed, it appears as if a deal has been struck, as the Chinese are returning shipments of coal back to the rogue nation.

China’s customs department has issued an official order telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said a trading source at Dandong Chengtai Trade Co., the biggest buyer of coal from the isolated country.

Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country’s most important export product.

The source at Dandong Chengtai said the company had 600,000 tons of North Korean coal sitting at various ports, and a total of 2 million tons was stranded at various Chinese ports, waiting to be returned.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.

China is now going to import American coal.

Buying U.S. coking coal marks a U-turn for China: No U.S. coking coal was exported to China between late 2014 and 2016. By February, coal shipments from the U.S. to China amounted to more than 400,000 tons.

Global coal supplies have tightened recently, partly as a result of China forcing domestic producers to cut output and a cyclone curbing Australian coal shipments. The effect of the tightened coal supply has driven the price of premium coking coal to three times the level it was just one year ago.

If North Korea has lost China, then it is probably close to the time when North Korea tells Dear Leader, “So long, farewell!”


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let them eat dog….oh wait…too late

casualobserver | April 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm

The crazy fat kid is so erratic who knows how he will react to this.

    Tom Servo in reply to casualobserver. | April 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I saw something today that explained things perfectly – Lil’ Kim is a MILLENIAL (born 1984) who has NEVER been told NO in his entire life, and who from birth has been raised to believe that the entire world was created only to wrap itself around his every whim.

    Take a special snowflake millenial, give them nukes, and waddya get? Lil’ Kim!!!

    Petrushka in reply to casualobserver. | April 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    You counter him with someone just as unpredictable.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | April 12, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Can’t we sent all our lie-stream media to North Korea?

Obama would have lectured China about use of coal and the connection with global warming.

    Olinser in reply to Anchovy. | April 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    And China probably would have INCREASED coal buys from North Korea just to spite the sanctimonious prick.

    “obama.” Ugh. It seems like a million years ago that we were subjected to that pathetic, incompetent, malignant leftist affirmative action jerkoff.

    And that’s just his fake wife.

Let me see if I can translate this from the point of view of China:

Dear Tubby,
Stop being such an international (censored) and threatening other countries, because your country is so dirt poor that all you have to export is dirt, and if we don’t buy it, you’re going to wind up eating it.
Love and kisses,

That’s a long way to ship rocks.

Chinese coal goes by rail from the mines in the north to the coast, then by boat to plants in the south. The further south, the more competitive foreign coal becomes.

Good US coking coal is relatively recent (well, Cretaceous) stuff between the Mississippi and a line running from Montana down through Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico. Most of it goes by rail to the Mississippi or direct to the Gulf coast. The much older (Permian and Carboniferous) coal from the east (Pennsylvania to West Virgina) is much better for powering boilers. It’s shipped out via ship from the US east coast or the St Lawrence. Essentially no US coal is convenient to the west coast.

To get to China, US coal goes in Panamax bulk carriers, which can fit through the Panama Canal, or via bigger carriers (Capesize and up) which have to go around Cape Horn.

Facilities to do all this are well developed and functioning now; no need to wait for approval from Washington, file Environmental Impact Statements, etc. Even so, anything from Korea will obviously have a major transportation cost advantage.

So China must be taking a bit of a financial hit to do this. And that willingness implies that something political has changed, and not to the Norks’ benefit. If so, the Press will, of course, never give Trump credit.

    alaskabob in reply to tom swift. | April 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Nice info. Somebody is savvy on this coal deal. Korean unification may be on the table. Ending the Korean War would be a huge change… a real Nobel Peace Prize for Xi and Trump.

    Olinser in reply to tom swift. | April 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    More than just transport costs.

    North Korean coal is gotten with the effective equivalent of slave labor.

    Aboluntionist in reply to tom swift. | April 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I recently read an article about China buying some of the coal mining operations in West Virginia. If China is buying up operations in West virginia, I am sure some of those out of work miners will be happy to go back to work so China can have their own coal mined in the U.S.

We went from Obama trying to kill off the coal industry to Trump selling coal to the Chinese.

The 2020 Trump campaign commercials practically write themselves.

American Human | April 12, 2017 at 5:38 pm

What a perfect way to soften the heart of the President (or whatever he is) of China. Little children singing to him and his family in their own language. For all the important things they talked about, I’m thinking that this little bit of entertainment will be a cherished memory for them (as much as Chi-Comms can cherish anything other than power). More than anything else, this little bit of entertainment by small children probably moved Xi’s “I Like Trump” meter way into the green.

Not only is Ivanka beautiful, she’s brilliant too!

I’m betting that her Secret Service code name is “Smoke Show”!!

I think that it’s likely that this is a smoke screen by the chinese to fool the Americans. The Chinese paid for the coal and are just delaying it’s delivery for appearance sake.

In an standoff between Trump and Fat Boy , no matter how it comes out someone with a bad haircut will be the loser .